Jenny Erpenbeck was born in East Berlin in 1967. She is the author of several works of fiction, including The Book of Words (2007) and Visitation ((...)

In Ireland, a traditionally Roman Catholic country that has long been known for a seeming conservative streak, the lack of a strong backlash during the referendum campaign has been notable, even as opponents of the measure have mobilised.   Photograph: Aidan Crawley/EPA

Here’s a take from the New York Times on the significance of the Same-sex Marriage Referendum being decided on Friday in Ireland. In 1993, Ireland was(...)

UNDATED -- BC-TRAVEL-TIMES-PARIS-LEFT-BANK-ART-NYTSF -- Saturday Evening: At the Eiffel Tower, experience lÕheure bleue, that magical twilight when the whole city is suffused in an ethereal light. Two elevators will whoosh you to the top (or, if youÕre feeling dauntless, tackle the 1,665 steps. Or cross the river and, within sight of the tower, join the ballroom dancers at the Trocadero. (CREDIT: Chris Carmichael for The New York Times) 5:43

While the Right Bank of Paris has seen internationalism and the irrepressible rise of “bobos”, the Left Bank has been able to preserve the soul of (...)

First steps towards marriage equality: the 1984 Dublin Gay Pride parade

LP Hartley’s novel The Go-Between opens in a wonderfully arresting and thought-provoking way: “The past is a foreign country: they do things differ(...)

Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras: honeymoon with Greece ended abruptly. Photograph: Alkis Konstantinidis/Reuters

Oscar Wilde said every American bride is taken to see Niagara Falls on her honeymoon. “It is the second, if not the first, disappointment of marrie(...)

Margaret Hayes, city librarian, in a chip van outside the Rotunda Hospital serving from left; Angela Cassidy, Roddy Doyle, Lord Mayor of Dublin Christy Burke, Philip Martin, Peter Sheridan and Niall Stokes, during the launch of Dublin: One City One Book, 2015 programme. This year’s book  is Roddy Doyle’s Barrytown Trilogy. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

It was a nostalgia-laden occasion for Roddy Doyle as he celebrated the selection of his Barrytown Trilogy for Dublin: One City One Book for 2015 surro(...)

‘To put it simply, without a strong capital the rest of the country is banjaxed.’ Above, the Spire on O’Connell Street. Photograph: Getty Images

St Patrick’s Day offers a unique opportunity to indulge in crass generalisations about what it means to be Irish. Today we can speak loosely in the(...)

Illustration by Gerard Crowley, from the True(ish) History of Ireland by Garvan Grant

Every year when St Patrick’s Day rolls around, someone always takes great pleasure in rolling out that old schoolboy joke: What did St Patrick say (...)

Painting of Brendan Behan and Lucian Freud is part of Mark McFadden’s debut exhibition in Dublin, ‘Literary Greats’, at the Residence club on St Stephen’s Green

This painting of Brendan Behan and Lucian Freud is by Mark McFadden, an Irish artist from Falcarragh, Co Donegal, now living in Monaco. It’s pa(...)

Never had it easy: it took Eimear McBride nearly a decade to get A Girl Is a Half-Formed Thing into print

The mother of the Irish novel, Frances Sheridan, was brought up to be illiterate. Her father didn’t want her to be able to read, and her brothers had (...)